Senior representatives from the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command (USASAC) hosted the Hellenic Army’s Finance Director Maj. Gen. Athanasios Dimitriadis and Sustainment Director Theodoros Zikos Oct. 13 at USASC’s New Cumberland, Pennsylvania headquarters.
The two Greek generals met with USASAC leadership to discuss sustainment efforts and USASAC’s Total Package Approach. They also visited the Hellenic Army Security Assistance Liaison Officer (SALO) currently assigned to USASAC, Lt. Col. Athanasios Natsios.
USASAC’s SALO program has had a pivotal role in developing foreign officers of partner nations since its inception in 1991. SALOs are partner nation foreign officers who spend up to three years in the United States working on foreign military sales cases (FMS) on behalf of their home countries. Often after a SALO completes a tour of duty at USASAC, they are assigned larger roles in their country’s military.
Such was the case for Zikos, a former SALO at New Cumberland. During his tenure, Zikos worked side-by-side with USASAC employees, honing his FMS process skills and crafting lasting and valued relationships with his U.S. teammates.
During his most recent visit, Zikos said he was grateful to the USASAC staff, including Dolores Ford, for coordinating his visit and organizing tours.
“I must confess I had a great time inside and outside of the base,” he said. “I learned a lot and I am very appreciative of this great opportunity to improve my skills and build new and lasting friendships.”
Though Zikos was familiar with the installation, a lot has changed since he last visited. The SALOs and the USASAC staff moved into state-of-the-art facilities in 2018.
“The new building is much better than the previous one. The new location is very close to the USASAC office, making the SALOs feel more a part of the greater USASAC family. Of course, the interior is more classy and worthy of the people who work there,” said Zikos.
After a tour of the new SALO facility, the Greek generals were greeted by David Cooper, chief of the Central Case Management Division for EUCOM/AFRICOM Regional Operations. Cooper and his team discussed issues central to the Hellenic Army Program, and answered the generals’ questions.
Cooper said he was both humbled and grateful to host the Greek delegation and the visit provided valuable insight that his team will use to strengthen the Hellenic Army Program moving forward.
He said it “underscores what we, as leaders, convey to our incoming SALOs: the officers chosen for this assignment are force multipliers sent here to grow our partnership to new heights. Seeing that come full circle was such a huge accomplishment.
“It was empowering to collaborate on some of the grass roots concepts that were a pillar of previous SALOs,” said Cooper. “The ability to expand and grow on those concepts has been a tremendous success story for both Greece and USASAC.